Vanessa Caroline Phair was born twenty-five years ago in New Haven, Connecticut on August 3rd, the only child of an upper middle class family. Daughter of investment banker Regis Phair and housewife Heidi Phair (née Baden). She had a happy, uneventful childhood, and grew up to become a stunningly beautiful teenage girl. She did consistently well in school (never getting a grade lower than B-), but she showed little interest in most things, caring only for fashion, clothes, accessories, jewelry and makeup. Oh, and boys, of course; although she did kind of see boyfriends as a type of fashion accessory. After giving the strictest minimum required attention to her homework, Vanessa would spend most of her time reading fashion magazines, applying makeup, rummaging through her closet - and often her mom's as well - trying on different outfits and basically just spending time looking at herself in the mirror. Going out with friends inevitably meant spending more time window shopping than going to the movies or grabbing a bite. She spent all of her allowance on clothes, fashion accessories and cosmetics. She already was a picture perfect personification of vanity.
In high school she became one of the more popular girls. No, she wasn't a cheerleader, she wasn't in the Glee Club, nor the Drama Club; the only extra-curricular activity she was ever involved in was the Fashion Club which she basically took over. The small group of fashion obsessed girls officially met almost daily after school to talk about clothes and designers, to write up the weekly fashion advice column in the school paper, to plan the occasional shopping trip to New York City and to organize the seasonal fashion shows they would throw for various school fundraising reasons. But the real reason they would do it was to parade down the runway in their best outfits in front of the entire student body, the students' parents and the whole school faculty. Seeing Vanessa strutting down the catwalk, all of the girls envied her, all of the boys lusted after her, and in all likelihood so did several fathers and male teachers too.
This quickly led to a budding professional modeling career, as one of her little fashion shows had been attended by a modeling talent scout. At age 17, Vanessa's most cherished dream was coming true, she got signed to a prestigious New York modeling agency. Juggling her new job and the requirements of her senior year proved hard but she pulled through. She graduated that year with honors and was free to move to NYC to fully pursue her career. Vanessa was barely 18 and international fame was just around the corner, as everyone involved in the fashion industry quickly saw Vanessa's potential and appeal. She was first featured on the cover of Seventeen as the fresh new face of modeling. She soon graced the covers of more fashion magazines: Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, Allure, Harper's Bazaar, all were lining up to feature the beautiful new "it girl" and Vanessa was only too happy to oblige them all. She started appearing along with other models in various television commercials for cosmetic products, exposing herself to a more general public. The very next year Vanessa was chosen to be the new face of Pantheon, the extensive line of hair care products. She was now featured in commercial after commercial, her gorgeous face and long, lustrous, naturally sandy blonde hair seen on national TV by millions and millions of people, which cemented her newfound fame and soon made her a household name. Getting the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition also helped her popularity greatly with the male demographic. She was now making all the various Top Ten lists of Sexiest People Alive and was dating men who topped the Richest People in the World lists.
By age 21, Vanessa had nailed one of the most coveted endorsement deals a model could wish for: she was enlisted to represent the Chanterelle N° 7 fragrance, one of the most appreciated perfumes in the world. Even with her endorsement deals, Vanessa kept doing runway shows and photo shoots, consolidating her status as a supermodel. Everyone in the industry loved her - well, except for the occasional model whose jealousy just ate her up inside. She was very easy to work with, shying away from any drama, and her professionalism completely overshadowed any diva-esque behavior she might occasionally indulge in. On that point Vanessa was very careful not to overdo the diva persona; she was living out her dream and she would not jeopardize it by becoming known as "difficult" or "bitchy" and besides, despite her extreme vanity she had always been a "nice girl" and fame and fortune would not change that. But people did indeed notice just how vain she was; everyone who has ever known her personally or professionally has commented on two things: her ethereal beauty, and her legendary vanity. But everyone overlooked her character flaws on account of how nice and pleasant she was for such a beautiful girl.
As an established supermodel, Vanessa was now living the high life, the carefree hedonistic lifestyle of celebrities, attending very exclusive parties with the most stylish people in the most exotic places all over the world. The girl who had never even smoked pot once in her whole life was now popping various pills quite regularly. Pills to help her sleep when jet lagged, pills to make sure she was up and ready when she had to work long hours at photo shoots or interminable fashion show rehearsals, pills for the headaches brought on by hours of bright lights shone straight in her eyes, pills to calm her nerves for the big shows like the Victoria's Secret annual televised show, and of course pills to make her feel all fuzzy and warm and light-headed when partying with the jet set crowd. She never thought of it as "drug problem" since a lot of other models did the same and she did have prescriptions for most of those pills, and those she didn't were brand new designer drugs that the law had yet to catch up with - all perfectly legal. And fun.
At the big birthday bash thrown for Vanessa's 23rd birthday held in her Beverly Hills mansion in California, she was partying quite hard, and inadvertently overdosed on excessive amounts of the newest designer drug in vogue, a totally synthetic derivative of para-Methoxyamphetamine in the form of a little pink pill colloquially called "Cloud 9". It didn't take long for someone to notice the birthday girl had lost consciousness and to call 911. The paramedics soon arrived on the scene and realized that she was in cardiac arrest, but they managed to resuscitate her in time. She was stabilized and rushed to the hospital, but she had slipped into a coma. Reports of the tragedy quickly made the news, and was spread rapidly by all media. The twittersphere was especially ablaze with record amounts of tweets about it.
While her body laid almost completely lifeless in her hospital bed, her soul drifted into Limbo, a desolate spiritual plane for lost souls. But all of the thoughts and prayers of her legions of fans and even casual admirers coupled with her own kind of self-idolatry gave her the spiritual momentum to leave the state of Limbo and ascend to the lofty, golden light-bathed Celestial Realms. There she was met with hostility by the resident Celestial beings who deemed her unfit for Heaven based on her vain, materialistic approach to life. They were also concerned with how she had breached their realm, having rose up with the backing of countless prayers, the powerful energy of all the dedicated thoughts of well-intentioned, good people. They feared her apotheosis; that all this cult of personality, this icon worship, could lead to Vanessa becoming actually deified as the next modern "Goddess of Beauty and Love" thus giving her a powerful, undeserved place among them.
So the mighty angel Malakite was charged by all the other Celestials with escorting Vanessa to Purgatory, that prison set up for the purification of souls, from which there is no escape and where she could essentially rot until Judgment Day. But Malakite, while acquitting himself of his task, ended up falling in love with Vanessa - very deeply so - and at the last moment decided to save her instead of condemning her to aeons of dull suffering in Purgatory. He chose to sacrifice most of his own powers to imbue her with his Celestial essence, so she could escape the spiritual dimensions and find her way back to Earth and resurrect herself.
It was a few weeks after her hospitalization - weeks which have felt like mere hours to Vanessa - that she finally awoke from her coma. Disoriented and confused, but in perfect health. She remembered clearly what she had experienced after her brush with death, but was not sure if it had been all a dream or not; it had felt real but it all seemed so fantastic now. She was discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health and returned to her old life. But not all was the same. She was still the same woman she had been before, with the same likes and dislikes, the same values, the same outlook on life, but she felt a certain emptiness now, a longing for that strange feeling of bliss that her dreamed Heaven had given her.
As she resumed her former existence strange things began to occur: she would suffer a small injury like a minor cut, or getting pricked by a pin when a designer's assistant would dress her up during a show, spraining an ankle while wearing very unsteady but oh-so-stylish stiletto heels, etc., and suddenly the pain and the source of the pain itself would just vanish. She no longer felt pain from standing or walking all day in uncomfortable heels, nor did she require any painkillers for the bright light-induced headaches she used to get. Her pill consumption which she had been told to put on hold for medical reasons following her ordeal, had yet to resume; she simply didn't need them anymore. Other people also seemed to feel better around her. People who complained about aches and pains would cease after spending some time in her close proximity. It was all so peculiar.
One late night when she was in England for London Fashion Week, she felt depressed after she and her on-again, off-again billionaire boyfriend had split up once more - over their respective work schedule, and over the phone as well. She picked up the Bible in the nightstand of her hotel's bedroom and mindlessly started flipping through it. She had been raised Anglican but religion had never been a very important part of Vanessa's life, and the Bible had never quite been a source of wisdom to which she would consider turning. A verse caught her attention, Ecclesiastes 1:2. "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Somehow that resonated with her, on more levels than one. She knew other people routinely referred to her as being vain, she never really saw that as a bad thing to be honest. It was just the way she was; the way God had made her, if there even was a God. But she understood the word vanity here meant something else, it meant futility and emptiness, a lot like what she often felt since her Near Death Experience occurred. She recalled that experience, remembered that glorious Celestial being in that strange dream, the angel Malakite. In that moment she really wished for him to be real, to be there with her. To love her like he had, to comfort her. And suddenly there he was.
Somehow, in that hotel room, an angel was standing in front of her. He didn't look quite like she remembered, more like a shadow of his former glorious self. But he was still quite impressive; an angel, a winged Celestial being, right there in the... flesh? She wasn't sure what he was made of, but he seemed to have some level of physicality, at least here he did. He told her she had summoned him from the spiritual planes, he told her of the personal sacrifice he had to make to ensure her return, he told her of the wrath of the other Celestial beings and of his banishment to the lower spiritual realms. He also told her of how she had been transformed by the experience, how she now carried as part of herself most of his former power. How she was now full of Celestial energy brimming just below the surface of her being. She realized it and embraced it fully. The whole room became filled with a mystical golden light, warm and full of love. She lost consciousness again.
The next morning Vanessa awoke, she was different now, she knew it, it had not been all a dream, or at least if it had, then the dream had been real. The glow around her was there, the light was still in her, all golden, warm and fuzzy. In the weeks that followed Vanessa often called on Malakite, he didn't always manage to appear, but when he did they would talk. He could never stay for very long either, the strain of this earthly plane of existence being too harsh on his spiritual nature. But when he came he taught her how to use her new powers, he schooled her in Angelic Magic, which among men is also called Radiant Sorcery. She learned and applied this mystical knowledge. Sparingly, at first, she wasn't sure exactly what to do with these new abilities. She would simply try to consciously heal the minor aches and pain of those around her. One day on her way to the modeling agency, she healed a sickly homeless man who was begging for spare change. She wasn't sure what had been afflicting him, but the burst of radiant energy she sent through him seemed to revitalize and change him. Another day she healed her agent's broken leg after she had been in a silly skiing accident over the weekend involving a tree being so rudely in the way. One night coming home from a club she heard a scream from an alley, she peered in and saw two men holding a young woman, clearly intent on violating her. She remembered Malakite telling her how to turn her celestial light into a weapon, how to use it offensively, but she had never tried it. She almost turned back when fear crept into her. But she didn't. She called the very wrath of Heaven down on those two men, a pillar of golden light falling fast and hard, smiting them and leaving them on the ground, disoriented and rendered harmless. The young woman stood there motionless for a second, then readjusted her skirt and ran away in fear; not knowing quite what to do next, Vanessa also left in a hurry.
Vanessa would later recall this incident as the moment she decided to become a superheroine. She trained with Malakite some more, learning how to hone her skills as a fighter and a healer; he also pledged to be her guardian angel, to come to her aid when needed. She decided to move to Millennium City, despite her agent's objections, since the city was home to so many superheroes. She realized she had to come up with a super name, to match her heroics. Her first thought, "Angel-Woman", made her laugh out loud at how ridiculous it sounded. Then she remembered the Biblical passage she reflected on that night she first summoned her angelic benefactor. Vanity, she would become Vanity. She asked a designer friend of hers to make her a costume fit for her new heroic persona. But vanity is not an easy concept to render visually. She remembered an image she once saw that had made her smile in a strange way. It was a drawing made by American illustrator Charles Allan Gilbert of a beautiful young lady sitting at a dressing table with a big round mirror and various flasks on it - a piece of furniture some would call "a vanity". If you squinted your eyes ever so much, or just took a step back, the picture became one of a human skull. It was quite cleverly done, and illustrated the inevitability of death and the futility - or vanity - of life. The picture was aptly titled All Is Vanity. It was perfect. Vanessa's superheroic persona would be that of Vanity, she would wear the skull as her emblem. She didn't care most people wouldn't "get it"; hopefully it might scare the bad guys, or at the very least confuse them just long enough for her to take advantage of it.
Thus Vanity was born. Vanessa in her new persona started to patrol the streets of Millennium City, stopping crime where it happened, foiling various nefarious plots, thwarting henchmen, villains and even supervillains; making a new name for herself. She soon met the superhero Metro Moth in Westside, a member of the Eternals Inc. super team who would later invite her to join them in their crusade against evil.
- Celestial Powers: Vanity can channel Celestial dimensional energies, which appear to be a softly glowing golden light that exhibits almost a tactile presence, in order to greatly enhance cellular regeneration at a prestigiously rapid rate. The same energy can be flung at her foes to smite and disorient them with divine vengeance. She can also surround people in a sphere of said magical light to shield them from harm. With the divine light that she channels she can defy gravity and levitate off the ground, she can also fly on wings made out of that golden Celestial light, as well as use these Celestial energies to warp and bend the dimensional fabric of space-time itself to move at incredible speeds while on the ground.
- Radiant Sorcery: Her command of angelic magic is thus that she can summon her guardian angel Malakite to this plane of existence, she can conjure up protective magical circles and sigils as well. Her regenerative powers extend to the revival or resurrection of the recently departed, though she cannot raise decomposing bodies, since their souls have long gone and the result would be raising zombies, which is a form of Necromancy rather than the Radiant Sorcery she wields.
- Aura: Her aura can be easily seen by most mystical types, and several non-mystical types can routinely glimpse it when she actively uses her angelic magical powers. It is generally a warm shimmering golden yellow. Several people, especially people with any kind of paranormal ability, have reported hearing ethereal trumpet-like sounds in her presence. Vanity's companions, as well as any non-hostile person, will equally benefit from her divine light-induced regeneration as long as they stay relatively close to her. The magic emanating from her aura will also increase the damage of any ranged attacker in her proximity, through Vanity's warping of the space-time fabric which increases the speed - and so the kinetic energy - of physical projectiles and projected energies over distances, thus making them hit a little bit harder.
- Mysticism: Vanity's training in magic has given her a wider understanding of all kinds of magic, though her specialty remains with the Radiant kind. She can sense and detect magical energies and can often know their purpose, although she is more unfamiliar with the darker types of magic. Her profound dislike of the various kinds of black magic also make her assessments of it more unreliable as she doesn't like to prolong any close contact with it. She is also very attuned to dimensional energies and can also sense them and understand their inner workings.
- Physical Skills: Vanessa is no athlete but she likes to stay fit. She practices yoga, and is quite adept at it. She is also a very good swimmer.
- People Skills: Vanessa is a pretty self-confident young woman whom people generally take a liking to rather quickly. Her demeanor is generally pleasant enough to put people at ease and make them feel comfortable around her (and her magical healing aura has now even extended this to include feelings of physical comfort).
- Physical Weakness: Vanity is neither super strong nor super resistant, she has the constitution of a normal human woman, and as such is rather fragile compared to other superheroes, even to normal men, and so completely fits the Women Are Delicate trope. She can be very easily hurt by any means; she is especially susceptible to any type of physical damage. Although she can move pretty fast, to the point where she can dodge bullets - well, some bullets, not all - she needs to see them coming and not be too distracted.
- Being Overwhelmed: Though Vanity's healing powers are quite formidable to the extent that she can regenerate super fast even when not actively healing herself, if several bad guys decide to take her down, she most likely will go down - and pretty fast too - unless her companions can stop them first or if she focuses solely on self-healing during the assault. She can be overwhelmed and taken down despite her best efforts, especially by rapid gunfire, huge blasts of elemental energies, and physical or particle explosions. She can be easily destabilized by any type of force knocking her down, up or back.
- Paranormal Resistance: Her resistance against all manner of paranormal attacks is indeed a little better, but she is still vulnerable if massively targeted. Mental attacks of the manipulation kind will rarely last more than a few seconds before she manages to snap out of it. Her mind can be read with relative ease, unless she realizes she is being probed or is expecting it, in which case she can shield her mind with her radiant magic. Any attempt at invasive mind probing might then result in the mindreader experiencing a weird feedback loop amplified by the celestial energies of her aura, which might unsettle the perpetrator of the psychic attack and cause mild disorientation.
- Finite Healing Capabilities: Vanity's healing does have its limits as well: she can't restore missing limbs, or heal injuries that happened long ago and have long since healed - perhaps imperfectly so - and left someone handicapped or deformed. Some diseases are also beyond her reach or ability to heal; although that could be simply because she doesn't quite know how to adapt her abilities to the peculiarities of the disease yet. Also she can send rapid bursts of healing energy at someone, but if she wishes to send a more concentrated, more effective healing it might require more time than the person has before expiring, at which point the healing would become ineffective; she would then have to remodulate the energy to resurrect instead, another process that can't be rushed.
- Ego: Vanity's vanity can be a weakness too sometimes, as she can be prone to being swayed by flattery. Not that she'll fall for any kind of exaggerated, obvious flattery every time, but she can be seduced when someone strokes her ego, especially when that someone is handsome and/or rich or powerful in some way (like a dashingly handsome supervillain).
- Lack of Ordinary Skills/Knowledge: Vanessa is not a dumb blonde, she is quite intelligent in her own way, but aside from doing the minimum to get good grades in school, she never cared enough about anything - other than fashion - to learn more about it. Her career started when she was still a teenager and as such there are a lot of the "little things" that people take for granted that Vanessa doesn't know how to do. Being an only child - and daddy's little princess - she was also spoiled and never had to do anything at home she didn't want to. She can't cook (she eats mostly in restaurants or orders take-out, or has someone else cook for her), isn't good at all at housekeeping (she has a maid), took driving lessons once upon a time but never got her driver's license (the modeling agency has a car service at her disposal, and nowadays she has her own super-means of getting around), and basically has to rely on her personal assistant to take care of a lot of the little details of her daily life. She also doesn't keep up much with current events, so her knowledge of what's going on in the world can sometimes appear to be lacking.
- Superheroes Wear Tights: Vanity's main superheroine outfit features black and white leather tights with a skull motif. She also has another costume that just features the skull motif and shows a lot more skin.
- Chest Insignia: Vanity's costumes all feature a giant skull insignia on her chest, which ties in with the traditional iconography of the Biblical theme of vanity.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: It's not just the giant insignia that illustrates the skull motif, Vanity also wears big skull shaped earrings (though her long hair often covers them partially or totally), a big skull belt buckle and skull caps on her boots too. Nothing like overkill to drive the message home.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Some might see Vanity in her costume with all the prominent skulls, the shoulder armor pieces with scythes sticking out of them, the big chains wrapped around her, the black leather tights (or the exposed flesh) and just assume she must be a supervillainess... Well, not so. The "darkness" of her costume simply reflects the thematic meaning of her heroic persona, which in turn reflects the epiphany of sorts that accompanied the acquisition of her powers.
- Superheroes Wear Capes: Vanity wears a kind of cape, composed of 8 long strands of cloth gilded with a reflective material that shimmers in the golden light of her angelic magic.
- Bare Your Midriff: Vanity's 'Eternal' costume completely bares her midriff.
- Instant Costume Change: Vanessa has the ability to engulf herself in Celestial light and emerge as Vanity, her stylish civilian outfit turned into one of her superheroine costumes. She can of course also do this in reverse, changing from her superheroine costume back into one of her fashionable outfits.
- Most Common Superpower: Nope, it's not Flight! Vanity is no exception to this rule. (See Appearance Tropes)
- The Chick: Vanity tends to be automatically relegated to that role in a male heavy Five Man Band team setting. Even in a Two Girls To A Team setting Vanity would most probably still be the girliest of the two girls.
- White Magician Girl: In a team setting Vanity is basically the modern equivalent of a "Cleric" in traditional Fantasy MMORPGs. She uses angelic - or "white" - magic to heal and revive.
- Combat Medic: Vanity's function in a super team is not just to heal her teammates, usually her mere presence is enough to keep everyone around her safe and sound, and bar the occasional burst of healing she would mostly just stand there if she couldn't fight as well. Now, she is not the strongest damage dealer, but she can definitely dish it out when no one requires active healing. She can even be a solo heroine and tackle small groups of baddies all by her lonesome self.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Vanity is a healer and a resurrector, but she can also bring down hard the Wrath of Heaven upon her foes.
- Squishy Wizard: Vanity's healing powers help with her own survival quite a lot, but she is still very fragile and one big blow or a series of very rapid successive blows can defeat her quite fast.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Vanity doesn't tour hospitals and morgues to cure the sick and revive the recently dead, something which she could technically do; but no, she still spends her time modeling professionally, shopping, partying, etc., and basically only uses her powers to fight crime.
- The Beautiful Elite: Vanessa's stunning beauty and consequent modeling career has opened for her the doors to the highest levels of society populated by wealthy, successful people, many of whom also happen to be extremely beautiful people.
- Angelic Beauty: Although not an angel herself, Vanessa's beauty was angelic enough to make a bona fide angel fall for her, and fall hard. And since the angel infused her with his celestial light Vanity has grown even more angelic looking, her aging process stopping to a halt, and often manifesting a halo-esque glow (magical aura).
- Proud Beauty: Being beautiful is how Vanessa got to where she is, it got her a fantastic career and then when she should have been rotting in Purgatory it instead got her a return trip to Earth AND superpowers. So yeah, she's not in denial about her looks, nor does she indulge in any kind of false modesty; she proudly cultivates her appearance and loves the attention she gets from it.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: Vanessa's hair is very long, down to her lower back. She will not even consider cropping it any shorter.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Vanessa's long, lustrous, natural blonde hair is a big part of her attractiveness and part of her success as an international supermodel.
- Buxom Is Better: Like her hair, Vanessa's ample bosom is a big part of her sex appeal.
- Absolute Cleavage: Vanessa often wears very low-cut tops and dresses.
- Statuesque Stunner: Vanessa is 5'10", which is tall for a woman, as most models tend to be. (Although in a world where NPC Heroines like Sapphire, Witchcraft and Black Mask are inexplicably at the very least 6'5" (if not closer to 7' tall!) and many players also like to max the Height slider, she may sadly not seem that tall in comparison.)
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Vanessa is the "heroine chic" and not the "heroin chic" type of model; she is very curvaceous.
- She's Got Legs: Vanessa has nice long legs and she is not afraid to show them, often wearing very short skirts and dresses. As Vanity she sometimes wears a skimpy version of her costume that shows her bare legs.
- Femme Fatalons: Vanessa has long, perfectly manicured nails, usually painted with bright red nail polish. (They are obviously not intended to be quite as long and sharp looking as the "claws" option used ingame, but since the Character Creator/Tailor doesn't have a middle ground it was either that or the short nails.)
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Vanity's costume uses big gold chains to represent the vanity, futility and even bondage of material wealth (as in "you don't own your possessions, they own you"). She also wears gold-plated armor, which can be seen as symbolic of how money protects the rich. On the other hand, gold has always been considered the purest and noblest of metals - incorruptible, eternal - and alchemists sought to transmute base metals into gold; and there was a spiritual undertone to this transmutation (Vanity's spiritual powers manifest as a golden light). And of course, Vanessa simply loves gold jewelry.
- Everything's Sparkly With Jewelry: Gold, diamonds, gems of all colors, shapes and sizes... Vanessa does indeed love the bling!
- Pretty In Mink: Vanessa would definitely not "rather go naked than wear fur". She loves the luxury, stylishness, sensuality and warmth of real fur; she is definitely not a member of PeTA, and take pity on whoever would try to throw red paint on her!
(Note: Before I start antagonizing any real life PeTA members and receive hate mail for it, I should point out that Vanessa doesn't condone cruelty to animals, or hunting animals to extinction. She rather loves animals but like most people she eats meat, wears leather, and thinks it would be hypocritical to draw the line at fur. She respects North American Native people's right to live a traditional lifestyle which includes trapping fur and is fine with well regulated fur ranching practices where the other parts of the animals used end up as pet food or fertilizer. And of course, any fur Vanessa wears is ultimately nothing more than pixels on a computer screen for which no real animal actually died!)
- Girly Girl: Vanessa is literally the epitome of femininity, everything that defines her being almost exclusively female by association.
- Spoiled Sweet: Despite her beauty, fame and social status, Vanessa is really deep down a very nice, sweet girl. She doesn't really think less of the less fortunate. Probably because she just doesn't think much about them to begin with. She does feel superior to most people, but she is rarely filled with contempt - nor will she display any animosity - towards people she would consider to be her inferiors, unless they would do something to deserve it, such as angering her by being incredibly incompetent or acting very stupidly. She realized long ago that being courteous with people, both socially and professionally, was a good way of making her life much simpler and easier.
- The Fashionista: It was Vanessa's interest in fashion that led her to become a model, a passion that was probably caused by her vanity rather than be the cause of it, although her success as a model most probably did exacerbate it.
- Vanity Is Feminine: Vanessa is hyperfeminine, both in appearance, personality and also in function within a super team (nurturing/healing). Her vanity is intrinsically linked to her sense of femininity and her career choice as a model definitely reflects this.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Vanessa is rich and not afraid to gratuitously and ostentatiously display it. Designer clothes, expensive jewelry, sumptuous furs, a very lavish lifestyle, all laid out for the world to see.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Cliché as it sounds, Vanessa does melt a little for the handsome roguish "bad boy" types. Especially if they also have vast amounts of money - though they don't need to in order to interest her, but she'll be less susceptible to fall for poor bad boys than rich ones, and might resist their charm while still indulging in heavy flirtations.
- True Neutral: Vanessa could be described as a bit morally bland, she just never really cared much about anything other than herself. She is definitely not evil per se, but she is not quite good either. And although she definitely loves living in a well-regulated civilization, she doesn't seem to care much for laws herself without being particularly chaotically minded either. She has always been primarily selfish, caring first and foremost about herself and anyone whom she would deem a loved one. Her superheroic activities might seem to reflect a recent shift towards good, but that might simply be because of the nature of her powers (support/healing). Had she acquired far more destructive powers, perhaps she might just as well have turned into a villainess much like Gravitar (after all "absolute power corrupts absolutely"). But also, her public image is a major factor in her becoming a superheroine rather than a supervillainess, as people tend generally to admire heroes and loathe villains, and Vanessa definitely prefers to be admired rather than loathed.
- Default To Good: As stated, Vanessa's new career as a superheroine seems to imply she's on the side of good, but that choice is more of a default setting. Her selfishness is not nearly bad enough to be anywhere near truly "Evil" proportions, and if you have to fight on one side, "Good's pretty good."
- Screw The Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Vanessa has long used her looks to "get away with murder" (metaphorically speaking, of course). She only ever had just to smile seductively and bat her eyelashes to make practically any problem just melt away. She's never felt it morally dubious using the effect her looks have on people to bend the rules a little in her favor.
- Screw The Rules, I Have Money!: Becoming a supermodel at very young age did make Vanessa feel the rules didn't quite have to apply to her quite the same way it did to others, and her status as a rich celebrity kind of did put her a little bit above the law in actuality. Not that she would have indulged in what she considered real criminal activities, but she did indulge in many of the little gray things the rich get away with, while never quite feeling she was doing anything wrong. Since becoming a superheroine her core personality can't be said to have drastically changed and she is still not the type to think that mindless Lawfulness should prevail at all cost (after all, laws were made by politicians and not always for the actual betterment of all society), but since joining The Eternals, she has been made more aware of the need to promote a healthy respect for rules and regulations, and cultivate the appearance of upholding lawfulness.
- Based on her ethnic heritage, Vanessa could be considered a "mutt" (albeit a very European one).
- Her paternal grandfather, Gerald Phair, was born in New England (Connecticut), and he was of old English descent (i.e. British, or more precisely a Briton/Anglo-Saxon/Norman mix). The Phair family has been established in America for quite a while; perhaps not since the Mayflower, but probably since the Juneflower, or at the very least the Julyflower, according to Vanessa's father Regis who is renowned for his "dad jokes".
- Her paternal grandmother, Élaine Bouthillette, was Canadian (of French descent) and she was born in Montréal, Québec, where she grew up before moving south of the border as a young woman. This technically makes Vanessa one quarter Canadian, but she doesn't hold Canadian citizenship as a result, though her father did have dual citizenship at birth.
- Being one quarter Canadian is not to be confused with one Canadian quarter, which has a picture of the Queen of England on one side and a caribou on the flipside. Vanessa has neither of those things, on either side. (Another one of Regis Phair's patented dad jokes.)
- Both of Vanessa's maternal grandparents were born in Europe, and both were of Germanic heritage. Her maternal grandfather, Hans Baden, was born in in Munich, Germany, while her maternal grandmother, Ingrid Lindström, was Swedish, born in Gothenburg, Sweden. Both of them immigrated to the United States - more specifically New York City - with their respective parents when they were children and this is where they later met and fell in love, having Vanessa's mother Heidi as their only child.
- Though only one of Vanessa's four grandparents was born in America, both of Vanessa's parents were born on U.S. soil, as was she, thus making her a full-fledged American citizen.
- Heidi Baden, Vanessa's mother, moved from New York City to New Haven, Connecticut with her family when she was still a child. It is where she would later meet Regis Phair, who was eleven years older than she was, and where the couple would eventually get married.
- Both of Vanessa's parents were born with natural blond hair, though her father's hair darkened a bit to light brown as he got older, and then turned gray at the temples.
- Vanessa is an only child, and a prototypical "daddy's girl/little princess" which may explain why she became so self-absorbed. And given that Regis Phair was a financially successful investment banker (now retired), she was rather spoiled from the get-go.
- Because as a child Vanessa was so pretty, so well-behaved and smart, all adults tended to like her and that made it much easier for her to get her way and be the center of attention. She learned very early on the value and usefulness of being a nice girl. Being pleasant and affable is second nature to her, not an affectation she developed later in life.
- In High School Vanessa acquired the nickname "Vain-nessa" which she didn't quite like, but she never let it push her buttons. The nickname was used mostly behind her back, and mostly by her mean girl frenemies. She knew of it but mostly didn't care as she figured it was used mostly by people who were "just jelly". With all she had going for her, she didn't have time for petty rivalries.
- As a teenager, Vanessa dated mainly jocks, the hot guys who played prominently on the High School football team, track and field team, or swim team, though she herself never cared for organized competitive sports in the least.
- One of Vanessa's first majorly publicized romantic relationships was the albeit brief one she had with Hollywood actor Leo DiCapricorno when she was barely 20 years old.
- When Vanessa was 22 years old she got engaged to NFL star athlete Brady Thompson of the Massachussets Patriotic Heroes, but the engagement and the relationship ended rather abruptly, allegedly over the athlete's concern for Vanessa's constant partying around.
- Vanessa has the distinction of having made the cover of the annual "Swimsuit Edition" of the famous men's magazine Sports Illustrated not just once, but twice already in her short career.
- Jean-Pierre Legault, the iconoclastic French designer and former creative director of prestigious manufacturer of luxury goods Mercurius International S.A. was one of the first fashion industry leaders to become enamored with Vanessa and still to this day raves about her, saying she is definitely one of his favorite models to work with.
- Vanessa speaks French very well. Growing up she had already learned some French from her paternal grandmother (who was French Canadian after all), and she took French in high school; as a gifted student she got an A+ grade in the subject. She of course knew that many international designers and maisons de couture were French, and so she was motivated to become fluent in the language.
- Vanessa loves French cuisine, but in moderation as it can be quite fattening. She also loves Belgian chocolate; it is her péché mignon.
- Vanessa owns a luxurious apartment in Paris' 16th arrondissement; it's her home in France, and serves as her pied-à-terre when she travels in continental Europe.
- Vanessa's primary residence is now in Downtown Millennium City - she owns a luxurious penthouse loft there - but she also kept her Manhattan apartment on the Upper East Side, though she rarely ever stays there long these days. She also owned a mansion in Beverly Hills, California, but ended up selling it after she nearly died in it from a designer drug overdose.
- After gaining international success as a supermodel, Vanessa bought a home for her parents in a gated community in Florida.
- Vanessa employs a protection service to keep an ever-watchful eye on her family, a sort of private Secret Service akin to the one who protects former Presidents.
- After spending much time in Vibora Bay, Vanessa purchased a Victorian brownstone there. She loves the local flavor but feels like the city is way too plagued with supernatural threats, which generally means more work for her to do. She also enjoys being able to visit her parents in Florida more often when residing there.
- The brownstone used to belong to an elderly member of the Trismegistus Council who recently ascended to a higher state of being; it came with a rather extensive library of works specialized mostly on mystical subjects. Vanessa purchased the brownstone and the entire content of its library with the blessing of the Council, in the hopes it would help with her superheroic work in Vibora Bay.
- Vanessa literally abhors sewers and musty old crypts. She loathes the smell and hates having to go patrol in such locations, even when the intel that there is definitely something bad going on there is correct. She is quite convinced that bad guys often take refuge in such God-awful places just to spite her.
- Vanessa has no love for demons or anything infernal. She's not too keen on anything supernatural as a rule either. Any cultural appeal towards vampires she might have felt as a teen has left the building upon meeting actual vampires in Vibora Bay, and especially finding out most of them don't seem to sparkle at all! The same goes for werewolves, though she wouldn't mind wearing a cute little werewolf fur jacket or having a werewolf skin rug in her den!
- Vanessa hates bugs in general - they just gross her out to no end - and giant alien ones like the Qularr even moreso. She does make an exception for pretty butterflies though!
- Vanessa is definitely not amused by "dumb blonde" jokes, seeing as she's a natural blonde. She knows herself to be relatively smart, but still feels more insecure about her intellect than she could ever do about her appearance.
- Although Vanessa doesn't have any particular dislike of Japanese people, she definitely doesn't like modern Japanese popular culture. It just seems too weird and strange to her, to the point where she finds it somewhat repellent. In the same way she is not a big sushi enthusiast either; she is one of the few celebrities who never jumped on the sushi bandwagon. She loves seafood, just not raw fish.
- Vanessa has appeared in two music videos by Hip Hop artist J-Zee, for the songs "Da Bling Is Forever" and "Gold Magic".
- The catchy song "Short Skirt Long Legs" by alternative rock band PIE was written with Vanessa in mind, according to singer/songwriter McCrea Johnson.
- Vanessa has made several appearances as a guest judge on the hit reality TV series Project Catwalk.
- Long before Vanessa ever became Vanity, she was cast in a cameo role appearance as Herself in the 2009 "Foxbat" movie as a an apparently very willing victim of a jewelry theft perpetrated by the charming rogue supervillain. Vanessa has no acting aspirations nor pretensions and had only accepted the bit part for the fun of it as she always thought Foxbat's antics were a little funny and that he was kind of cute in his own way. She was however a little disappointed that unfortunately her scene didn't make the final cut of the theatrical release of the motion picture, but it can be still be found in the Deleted Scenes section of the subsequent Blu-ray/DVD releases. Vanessa also briefly appears in the Gag Reel featurette where she can be seen goofing off and having fun on set during the shooting of her cameo appearance.
- Malakite: Vanessa's literal Guardian Angel, whom she can summon to this earthly plane of existence. She met him in the Celestial Realms during her Near-Death Experience; he had been charged to exile her to Purgatory but fell deeply in love with her to the point where he sacrificed much of his own essence and power to save her. She doesn't - or possibly can't - quite return his love in the same way, though she is much appreciative of his gift to her and continued assistance. It is unknown why exactly Malakite fell for Vanessa the way he did, perhaps he believes that "Beauty Equals Goodness" or he saw something in her no other angel could. His current status in the upper realms has been downgraded as he became a bit of an outcast after rescuing Vanessa, and his greatly diminished powers make him much less formidable than he once was, especially when he takes material form.
- Metro Moth: Metro Moth is the first Eternal Vanity met while patrolling the mean streets of Millennium City's Westside. The "Master of Disguise" had already spotted her long before she became aware of his presence, and he had perspicaciously evaluated her abilities. He's the one who subsequently invited Vanity to join The Eternals Inc. super team after keeping track of her progress as a crime-fighter. Vanity first assisted Metro Moth in minimizing the collateral damage of a known supervillain's rampage as he managed to escape his due incarceration; it was a hard lesson learned that sometimes the good guys don't fully save the day. She has the utmost respect for this man who lacks real superpowers but who has nonetheless poured his entire being - physical, mental and spiritual - into his quest for justice. She admires his athleticism, his ingenuity and his wisdom. Vanity is proud to call him a friend.
- Captain Adamant: Vanity met the good Captain when The Eternals assigned their "Unbreakable Man" on her protection detail during a mission in Vibora Bay to eradicate a huge nest of Vampires and rescue captured civilians. She was very happy to be assisted by the ruggedly handsome man even if she thought The Eternals were underestimating her healing skills by sending someone almost literally indestructible. Their collaboration proved a success and every missing person was safely rescued and evacuated and every vampire present (including the Crypt Master of the nest) thoroughly dusted. Aside from his help, Vanity appreciated his direct candor and no-nonsense attitude throughout the proceedings, as well as his nicely toned muscular body of course!
- Mister Fifth: Vanity's experience with dimensional energies and higher planes of consciousness gives her a unique insight into this strange man's very existence and yet she is still completely baffled by the astounding complexity of his being. Their occasional heroic collaborations have always proved to be a force to be reckoned with and Vanity always looks forward to every time the two can have interactions of any kind. It doesn't hurt her fascination with him that Vanity's mystical expertise allows her to somehow perceive the big blue man as a kind of living diamond! (Note: Anyone who loves Alan Moore's style should totally check out Mr Fifth's Origins webcomic, it's literally mindblowing!!!)
- G.I. Joan: Lieutenant Joan Barrett is considered one of UNTIL's Special Operations Unit's best officers. She has the distinction of being rated a top-notch Scout Sniper. Though she and Vanity have practically nothing in common, the two have formed an efficient team and have since become good friends.
- Charlatan: After Vanessa's personal assistant Charlene Casey was kidnapped and killed by the supervillainess Envy, Vanity feared she might not arrive in time to save or revive her the next time something like this were to happen, so she taught Charlene some basic magical techniques for self-defense. Eventually she became so proficient at it that Vanity encouraged her to become a superheroine too.
- The Inquiring Mind: A superdetective with no actual superpowers, just a keen sense of deduction, intuition, intensive physical training, a couple of trusty sidearms, a menacing-looking ski mask, and the luck of the Irish. Working mainly in the crime-infested slums of Westside, he met Vanity when she was trying her hand at patrolling there. They have had a mutually beneficial relationship, helping each other out from time to time.
- Carlos Danger: Mayoral candidate backed by Vanessa's on-again, off-again billionaire boyfriend. Señor Danger ruined his chances of being elected after sexting inappropriate messages and pictures to Vanessa after becoming obsessed with her. He blames her for the scandal and losing his financial backing. He has since vowed revenge and now fully turned to crime. His metaphorical "playing with fire" manifested as a now real pyrokinetic mutation after he came into contact with a mystical Lemurian artifact which he attempted to steal to get some funding in a futile attempt at rehabilitating his dying political career. It is believed he has now completely lost his mind.
- Shadow of Death Knight: Strange mystical being that appeared in the Israeli desert. Vanity was sent to accompany UNTIL officer G.I. Joan to stop this imminent threat. (Subject of the upcoming Dreamward Comics Issue #1 story "Girls Knight Out")
These would be NPCs that are part of Vanessa/Vanity's backstory and civilian life. They can be referred to in the context of roleplay, talked to on the phone, etc. Should the need arise within a RP setting, they can even make guest appearances (as specially created temporary low level player characters) to provide information, take part in the action, or in any way interact with other participants.
- Charlene Casey (age 26): Vanessa's personal assistant, often personal shopper as well (though Vanessa loves to do her own shopping, but she doesn't always have the time, and there are a lot of non-fashion related items that also need to be purchased). She is smart and pretty but lacks self-confidence, dresses more conservatively, wears glasses, has short brown hair, 5'7" tall. She is not a lesbian, and does indeed like men, but she does have a bit of a crush on Vanessa, which she tries to hide as much as possible. And she doesn't really wish that something would happen either, but she is a little bi-curious for Vanessa, who suspects it but finds it more amusing than noteworthy. In time, Charlene becomes a magical superheroine in her own right, going by the name Charlatan.
- Sylvia Seibel (age 52): Vanessa's modeling agent. She is very business-like, can be harsh and expedient at times but is generally nice and affable, especially with Vanessa. She has graying hair, a lanky 5'8", dresses stylishly, wears reading glasses on the tip of her nose. She is Jewish but she calls herself an atheist, although she doesn't quite know what to make exactly of Vanessa's experience with the "Celestial Realms" and her resulting powers. She strongly disapproves of her client's new side activities as a crime-fighter, but is still nonetheless intrigued about the marketing possibilities brought about by Vanity's heroics.
- Benjamin "Ben" Carlson (age 61): The doorman at Vanessa's apartment building. He's an old African American man who used to be a masked vigilante long ago - The Black Brawler - until he got seriously hurt doing it (he still has a bit of a limp in his left leg, despite Vanessa's attempts to restore him). He's 6'4", 226 lbs, and still in decent shape. He never had any real powers, aside from being really athletic, strong for a normal man, a good street fighter and very courageous (or "foolhardy" as he says self-deprecatingly). He is full of stories about the old days of crime-fighting in Detroit.
- Sherman Adair: Vanessa's on-again, off-again billionaire boyfriend, he is the CEO & Chairman of Adair Media. A political enemy of current Millennium City mayor Calvin Biselle, whom he has publicly denounced numerous times as inept in his current post. He and Vanessa have always had a turbulent relationship, which has become even moreso since her involvement in crime-fighting. Ever the opportunist, he still doesn't know whether to try to use Vanity for his own political meddling or just go with his feelings and object to her superheroing. The mayoral candidate he was backing, a certain Carlos Danger, became obsessed with Sherman's girlfriend and started sexting her inappropriate content that got leaked publically, thereby creating a scandal that ended his political career to Sherman's great displeasure and embarrassment. (Note: This is obviously a non-canonical use of a minor CO NPC and he could be rewritten as a different character if anyone objects to his integration in any RP setting.)
- "OMG! It's Vanessa!" (i.e. Her Fame): Obviously Vanessa Phair is easily recognizable - and Vanity doesn't wear a mask or obfuscates her face in anyway - and most people have seen her on TV (commercials, info-tainment shows, televised fashion shows, Project Catwalk), on the cover of magazines, tabloid newspapers, etc.; most people even know her name by now. Even the most reclusive vigilante would probably get a familiar face recognition, assuming he monitored the media for news on global/local criminal activity or noticed billboards when patrolling the city. You really would have to live under a rock, or be brand new to this world (recently arrived extraterrestrial or transdimensional alien) not to have seen her face somewhere before. As Vanity, she does not yet share the same acclaim as longer established superheroes, but benefiting from her fame as a model - and thus media exposure resulting from the novelty - she has had more media recognition than other non-previously famous heroes would have garnished from the same level of heroic accomplishment.
- "Hey babe! How you doin'?" (i.e. Her Looks): Since Vanessa/Vanity is very beautiful, most men are naturally attracted to her and might try to strike up a conversation, if they are confident enough to do so. Vanessa can be very flirtatious at times, but do not be fooled, she is far from easy and definitely does not sleep around with every guy she meets!
- Damsel in Distress (i.e. Her Weaknesses): Although Vanity can handle herself in a fight, she is not as strong or especially as resistant as most heroes, and a chivalrous hero might offer to help her.
- Healing Hand (i.e. Her Strengths): Her Celestial/Angelic powers can come in quite handy for any superhero, especially the "glass cannon" types, and it wouldn't be improper for one to ask for Vanity's help in any situation that could be hazardous.
- The Eternals (i.e. Her Super Team): Her recent affiliation with the illustrious super team can be a starting point for anyone who has had dealings with other members in the past.
- Vanessa's Theme: Garbage - Stupid Girl This is primarily Vanessa's pre-Vanity theme, before the Near-Death Experience and the acquisition of Celestial powers. It represents her insouciance, her desire to be idolized and adored, the vanity of her life. Despite what the song title might appear to imply, it is NOT a comment on her intellect or lack thereof. It also applies to her current civilian life, seeing as she did not make a complete change and went back to her old habits and personality.
- Vanity & Malakite's Theme: Garbage - #1 Crush This song is about Malakite's love for Vanessa, which is the reason she came back and became Vanity. It contrasts the whimsy and lightness of the previous song with a much darker, heavier pounding sound, that features eerie and trance inducing vocalizations.
Vanessa Phair - Cover Girl (Small Sample of Vanessa's Many Magazine Covers)
First Cover of Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Edition"
Second Cover of Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Edition"
Vanessa Phair - Victoria's Secret Annual Televised Fashion Show (Selected Rehearsal Pictures)
Finale - Magnificent Angel Walk
Finale - Magnificent Angel Walk
Finale - Magnificent Angel Walk
Finale - Magnificent Angel Pose
This story was my first attempt at making comics with Champions Online, in the Fall of 2013. "Girls Knight Out" was to be the first installment of the projected Dreamward Comics
series (which would have featured various characters of mine) and this particular issue would be featuring the historic first-ever pairing of my heroines G.I. Joan
facing off against the dreaded Shadow of Death Knight
. I only produced the first page of the story which I initially presented here years ago as a sneak preview, sandwiched between the cover and the title page that also gave the vital statistics of both heroines.
I had planned to continue the project further but then procrastinated long enough and eventually stopped playing CO altogether with any regularity for over two and a half years. Though I never actually made the decision to abandon it, I had put it on indefinite hold long enough to consider it practically abandoned. When I gradually came back to the game at the end of 2016, I wanted to get back to doing comics but at the time I wanted to focus on my original main character Frozen Vixen. Now that I have revived my interest in playing Vanity, I revisited my work on this project and felt I just might revive it as well. If I ever do get back to producing it, the final product will, needless to say, look much different now. I have already redone the cover and the title page, mainly just for the fun of it--both of which are posted below--but I still felt like leaving the original sneak preview here (best viewed in Full Resolution/Actual Size), if only out of nostalgia and as a way to gauge my progress as an amateur graphic designer and comics illustrator.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: This story is all about the unlikely pairing of Tomboy G.I. Joan and Girly Girl Vanity. In typical fashion for this trope the story takes the form of a Girls Night Out Episode complete with punny episode title.
- Magic Versus Science: This story explores a variation on the theme of this trope, with Joan relying exclusively on Science and Technology (Cyberline Treatment, high-powered rifles and firearms), and Vanity on Magic and Mysticism (Radiant Sorcery), with the two distrusting each other's methods. Although in the end their collaboration is what saves the day.
Here are updated versions of the cover and title page of the "Girls Knight Out" comic.
Updated cover of the "Girls Knight Out" special issue featuring G.I. Joan and Vanity teaming up against the Shadow of Death Knight.
Updated title page of the "Girls Knight Out" special issue featuring G.I. Joan and Vanity teaming up against the Shadow of Death Knight.
The Inquiring Mind Mini-Issue #1: "Da Vanity Code - Prologue: You Lucky Irish".
Here is a short prologue to the projected "Da Vanity Code" story arc produced as a mini-issue of The Inquiring Mind comic entitled "You Lucky Irish". It features the titular character, a superdetective devoid of any real superpowers and who happens to be a friend and occasional colleague of angelic superheroine Vanity, following up on a lead and stumbling upon something big coming in at the Westside Docks. The story is presented in both color as well as black and white, for a grittier neo-noir look.
Various Comic Book Covers and Pages
Here are some various covers and pages of what could possibly become future issues of the Vanity solo title comic book. (I made these mostly for fun, while messing around with the idea of a new comic project for Vanity.)
Cover of the Vanity Issue #1 comic book.
Cover of the Vanity Issue #3 comic book.
Cover of the Vanity Issue #5 comic book.
Alternate cover of the Vanity Issue #5 comic book.
Cover of the Vanity Issue #8 comic book.
Cover of the Vanity Issue #13 comic book.
Cover of the first issue of the "Da Vanity Code" special three part mini-series.
Cover of the second issue of the "Da Vanity Code" special three part mini-series.
Vanity wakes up flying around Downtown Millennium City in the buff, and possibly not for the first time.
Vanessa Phair/Vanity introduces herself.
Vanessa Phair runs into Purple Gangsters.
Vanity confronts and vanquishes a fiery demon from hell.
Supermodel Vanessa Phair is called back from a date to figure out where her missing superteam has gone to. To do so she has to use her dreaded new supercomputer!
(Please feel free to leave any IC or OOC feedback here. I appreciate any comments or suggestions, as well as constructive criticism and much needed words of encouragement, upon any aspect of Vanity's character, origin story and comics endeavors.)